The Art Of Memory By Hamza Ali, First Year

Thursday, April 28, 2016 KELS 0 Comments Category : ,

Before we begin, let me paint you a picture. It’s the night before your Blood physiology viva and good ol’ Guyton’s been knocking you senseless for the past God knows how many hours. Then suddenly, a wild chart appears! You read the words scribbled in pencil near the chart saying “must learn all factor names”. You are horrified. How, in the name of all that is sensible, are you supposed to learn all of them and complete the gazillion pages left? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a method for learning them in under a minute? Allow me to show you how you can tackle such annoying problems with the greatest of ease: by developing a trained memory.

Right now you’re probably thinking “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat” but what if I told you could do it right now! So buckle in your seat belt and prepare yourself for a live miracle! I’ll show you how to use a memory technique called ‘link’ and demonstrate the potential of training your memory through the simplest of examples
Suppose you are going out for groceries and you need to buy following items:
  1. Eggs
  2. Milk
  3. Mushrooms
  4. A pair of cells  
  5. A pair of scissors
  6. Scotch tape
  7. Coke
  8. Bubble gum
  9. A tennis ball
Now try to learn this list through your conventional methods. Most probably you’ll memorize it and forget it in the next 45 secs. This simple list can be easily memorized (and retained) by ‘link’. All you need to do is to associate the first word in the list with the word coming immediately after it in a ridiculous manner. However, before we begin to apply this technique, I must stress on the importance of using your own associations and imagination for the best results. For the purpose of demonstration, I’ve given an example but you should actively try to suite it to your needs. Lastly, you must set your imagination free; let yourself ride in chocolate horses on bright yellow clouds if need be, just don’t hold back!
Association means that we will attempt to relate two items in our mind and with the power of our (under-worked) imagination, we will make that association stick. The more ridiculous the relation, the more likely it is to stick. Let’s begin our first link.
Read the following carefully, picturing all the detail in your mind’s eye.
  • First of all, picture a grocery cart filled to the brim with eggs. Try to imagine the difficulty in moving the cart without dropping any of the eggs.
  • Next, imagine a human sized egg with arms and feet drinking milk from a carton. Really form a mental image using not just your sight but other senses as well. Try to feel the rough texture of the egg and taste that all too familiar flavor of packaged milk. Take your time, just perfect the image in your mind’s eye.
  • Next, picture a thousand small milk cartons running from a gigantic monster mushroom. Again, use as many of your senses as you like to perfect this image or better yet, come up with your own!
  • Moving on, imagine putting mushrooms inside your Air conditioner remote instead of cells.
  • Next, imagine trying to cut a cell with a scissors but the cell suddenly sprouts muscular arms and breaks the scissors like twigs.
  • Then comes the scotch tape wrapped scissor mummy.
  • After that picture drinking coke from a gigantic scotch tape shaped bottle.
  • Next, try visualizing a bubble gum desperately trying to swim in a sea of coke and failing miserably.
  • Lastly, picture using your bubble gum and a tennis ball to make a yoyo.
Remember to make every mental image properly. It may seem difficult in the beginning but with a day’s practice your imagination will be up and running.
Now let’s test your link! What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of groceries? If you made all the associations, it should be eggs. What do eggs remind you of? Recall the ridiculous image you formed and it should get you to milk. Milk? That instantly gets you to mushrooms, does it not? (I hope it does) Mushrooms should remind you of cells, the cells leading you to scissors. So on, you should be able to list all nine items. If you really want to surprise yourself, try remembering this list after a day has passed!
With this simple trick and a dash of imagination you can memorize and retain almost anything in a very short period of time. If you want to know how to learn all the clotting factors refer to the “How to develop a perfect memory” by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. Learning them is a simple application of the ‘peg method’. This book will also equip you with all the ammunition necessary to be a world memory champion (yes, there is such a thing). If that doesn’t satiate you, you can also try learning the ‘memory palace’ technique from Dominic O’Brien’s books. Now that you’ve been introduced to the wonders of a trained memory, I’ll leave you to experiment with your abilities!